A larger-than-life statue of Los Angeles Lakers great Shaquille O’Neal was unveiled Friday night, suspending 10 feet above ground, attached to Staples Center, weighing in at 1,200 pounds. The nine-foot bronze statue joined a Star Plaza statue collection of Magic Johnson, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Chick Hearn, Wayne Gretzky, Oscar De La Hoya and Luc Robitaille.
The afternoon started with Shaqtown, a street festival that extended from Chick Hearn Court throughout L.A. Live, and included a variety of interactive games like Fireball Alley, Block-A-Shaq and Plinko, a Hall of Fame Exhibit, specialty photo opportunities, a Ferris wheel, a mini Lakers basketball court and a live DJ. Fans were also invited to watch the statue unveiling on the video boards set-up throughout the street festival.
Next up were the arrivals of Shaq’s teammates, colleagues, family and friends, followed by speeches from Kobe Bryant, Jerry West, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Phil Jackson, Jeanie Buss and Staples Center President Lee Zeidman. We’ve got all of those speeches for you below, as well as the footage from the actual unveiling and the media’s interview with Shaq after the ceremony.
The Unveiling, Including Shaq’s Speech
Kobe Bryant’s Speech
Jerry West’s Speech
Jeanie Buss’ Speech
Phil Jackson’s Speech
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s Speech
Shaq On Kobe, Lakers Future, Statue Reaction